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Nanocarbon-Based Photovoltaics

Bernardi, Marco and Lohrman, Jessica and Kumar, Priyank V. and Kirkeminde, Alec and Ferralis, Nicola and Grossman, Jeffrey C. and Ren, Shenqiang (2012) Nanocarbon-Based Photovoltaics. ACS Nano, 6 (10). pp. 8896-8903. ISSN 1936-0851. doi:10.1021/nn302893p.

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Carbon materials are excellent candidates for photovoltaic solar cells: they are Earth-abundant, possess high optical absorption, and maintain superior thermal and photostability. Here we report on solar cells with active layers made solely of carbon nanomaterials that present the same advantages of conjugated polymer-based solar cells, namely, solution processable, potentially flexible, and chemically tunable, but with increased photostability and the possibility to revert photodegradation. The device active layer composition is optimized using ab initio density functional theory calculations to predict type-II band alignment and Schottky barrier formation. The best device fabricated is composed of PC_(70)BM fullerene, semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes, and reduced graphene oxide. This active-layer composition achieves a power conversion efficiency of 1.3%—a record for solar cells based on carbon as the active material—and we calculate efficiency limits of up to 13% for the devices fabricated in this work, comparable to those predicted for polymer solar cells employing PCBM as the acceptor. There is great promise for improving carbon-based solar cells considering the novelty of this type of device, the high photostability, and the availability of a large number of carbon materials with yet untapped potential for photovoltaics. Our results indicate a new strategy for efficient carbon-based, solution-processable, thin film, photostable solar cells.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Information Paper
Bernardi, Marco0000-0001-7289-9666
Grossman, Jeffrey C.0000-0003-1281-2359
Additional Information:© 2012 American Chemical Society. Received for review June 28, 2012 and accepted September 6, 2012. Publication Date (Web): September 6, 2012. M.B. acknowledges funding from Intel through the Intel Ph.D. Fellowship. N.F. and J.C.G. are grateful to the MITEI seed program for financial support. M.B., P.V.K., and J.C.G., wish to thank NERSC and Teragrid for providing computational resources. S.R. thanks the University of Kansas for its startup financial support, and acknowledges funding from a Department of Energy award (DESC0005448). The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)UNSPECIFIED
University of KansasUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0005448
Subject Keywords:photovoltaics; carbon; photodegradation; ab initio materials design
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150923-141655695
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Official Citation:Nanocarbon-Based Photovoltaics Marco Bernardi, Jessica Lohrman, Priyank V. Kumar, Alec Kirkeminde, Nicola Ferralis, Jeffrey C. Grossman, and Shenqiang Ren ACS Nano 2012 6 (10), 8896-8903 DOI: 10.1021/nn302893p
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:60448
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:23 Sep 2015 21:30
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:34

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